New hope for Essex Boys killer

AN Ipswich solicitor for one of the men convicted of murdering three drug dealers, today said he believes he has fresh evidence which will free him.Christopher Bowen is due to hand a petition in to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg tomorrow as he bids to over his client's conviction for what have become known as the Essex Boys' murders.

AN Ipswich solicitor for one of the men convicted of murdering three drug dealers, today said he believes he has fresh evidence which will free him.

Christopher Bowen is due to hand a petition in to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg tomorrow as he bids to over his client's conviction for what have become known as the Essex Boys' murders.

Mr Bowen represents Michael Steele, who was jailed for life with Jack Whomes, of Brockford, near Stowmarket, for the gangland hits on Pat Tate, Craig Rolfe and Tony Tucker at Rettendon on December 6, 1995.

Both men have always strenuously denied their convictions, which were brought about primarily through the evidence of supergrass Darren Nicholls, who coincidentally will be 42 tomorrow.

Mr Bowen was due to fly out to France today.

He first met Steele when he represented him at Colchester police station after his arrest nearly 11 years ago.

Most Read

Mr Bowen said: “New information has come to light in the last few weeks which taken together with the existing material provides Michael Steele with the very best opportunity to overturn his conviction.

“Michael Steele's petition is seeking a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that his right to a fair trial was denied.

“In the last two to three weeks I have spent more in depth time on the case than in any other similar time period since the case began. I saw Michael Steele (in prison) last Friday and at the conclusion of that meeting we both agreed we have, in our possession, sufficient evidence to bring this case to a successful conclusion. The only thing we are not in control of is how long it will take.”

Steele, 64, of Great Bentley, and Whomes, 46, have fought a long and bitter battle to prove their innocence after they were arrested for the slayings of drug barons Tate, Tucker and Rolfe.

The trio were shot at close range and their bodies were discovered in a Range Rover in Workhouse Lane, an isolated track in Rettendon, near Chelmsford.

Early last year they took their cases to the Royal Courts of Justice in London, However three judges threw out the appeals after considering the evidence, leaving Whomes, Steele and their supporters devastated.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter